Mount Daisen

Mount Daisen (大山) is a volcanic mountain in the Chugoku region with amazing views over the northern mountains from 1,729 metres above sea level. This makes it the highest in the region, so it has a lot of significance to Japanese people. The mountain is therefore dotted with stunning shrines and temples, and has becomeContinue reading “Mount Daisen”

Yamadera

Yamadera (山寺), meaning Mountain Temple, is a small town well known for its beautiful, scenic Ryūshaku-ji (立石寺) temple. The town is a great spot for Autumn colours, but is excellent any time of the year. Walking up the temple area provides a great view over the town and forests, as you check out many different religiousContinue reading “Yamadera”

Matsushima

Matsushima (松島) is famous bay not far from Sendai. What makes this place unique is that the bay is dotted with beautiful little islands, the most famous of which has a shrine on top. You can view the islands by walking around the bay or by using traditional Japanese bridges to access the 2 main islands. Budget travel tips Taking aContinue reading “Matsushima”

Sendai

Sendai (仙台) is one of the biggest cities in Tohoku. It is not an essential visit, but offers cheap accommodation and many side trips. There are also some interesting things to do in the city if you have some spare time between travelling. Budget travel tips Head up north to the World Heritage site of Hiraizumi.Continue reading “Sendai”

Spring flowers at Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival

While Nezu Shrine is just normal shrine during most of the year, it truly becomes unique during it’s Azalea Festival. From around early April to early May, the shrine’s garden is filled with a stunning collection of super colourful plants. There is a long  path of ‘torii’ gates in the garden. Be sure to duck or you will hitContinue reading “Spring flowers at Nezu Shrine’s Azalea Festival”

Kichijoji

Kichijoji is a nice place to spend a cheap day, just walking around and doing an odd bit of shopping, eating or relaxing in the park.  It’s the most interesting suburban town outside central Tokyo, and has many things to keep all types of people occupied. Budget travel tips Make sure you have a printContinue reading “Kichijoji”

Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2

On the second day of our visit to Ise, we visited the Ise Grand Shrine. It has a similar style to the other shrine in Ise, with simple, plain wood structures and set in a little forest style setting.  Day 1 Travel Report here. The shopping street outside the shrine is pretty crazy on New Year’s!IseContinue reading “Ise Grand Shrine – Day 2”

Quick Japan – Main Tourist Spots in 1 Week

A guide to the main hot spots in Japan, all in just a week! Because of Japan’s excellent transportation, it is possible to see quite a lot in a week.  You could use either the Japan Rail Pass or Japan Bus Pass, but because your time is really tight, the Japan Rail Pass is probably best.  ThisContinue reading “Quick Japan – Main Tourist Spots in 1 Week”

Osaka and Around Kansai in 1-2 Weeks

While Tokyo and the surrounding areas are great, a holiday down south around Kyoto and Osaka has its own charm and delights. This itinerary uses a few bus/train passes for each tourist area, so you probably don’t need a  Japan Rail Pass or  Japan Bus Pass.  For long distances use a night bus. Cost: 120,000 yen – 140,000 yen per person DayContinue reading “Osaka and Around Kansai in 1-2 Weeks”

Tokyo and Kanto in 1-2 Weeks

There is so much to do around Tokyo in a few weeks, it really is a city of cities. There is probably no need to buy a  Japan Rail Pass or Japan Bus Pass, but make use of the special passes for most of the areas.  If you have less than 2 weeks, just cut out the placesContinue reading “Tokyo and Kanto in 1-2 Weeks”

Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks

Want to get away from the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka? Try this itinerary!  It will take 1-2 weeks, depending on how much hiking and/or snowboarding or skiing you want to do.  This guide is therefore showing just our recommended route. As there are so many different bus companies and train companies, you probably don’t need a JapanContinue reading “Getting Away From The Big Cities – Japanese Alps in 1-2 Weeks”

Japan’s Main Spots in 2 Weeks

2 weeks is a good amount of time to see what Japan has to offer in terms of culture, tradition and history. This could be done with either the more expensive but faster Japan Rail Pass or the cheaper Japan Bus Pass.  Go for the Japan Bus Pass if you don’t mind a few night buses and slow trains. IfContinue reading “Japan’s Main Spots in 2 Weeks”